Deep in the woods, nearly three miles back,
far from New York with its tall glass and steel,
on a low ridge that has no proper name,
I stumble on something that feels surreal.
An old-growth forest grove, somehow survived
the thirst of furnaces and logging claims,
straight white pines that, in centuries past,
would’ve been masts for ships sailing the main.
Thick, furrowed bark runs up the branchless trunks
up to a one-hundred-fifty foot height,
maybe they’ll never beat a sequoia,
but in the east, they’re one hell of a site.
Now this hidden plot has dozens of trees
that must be six-feet in width at the base,
throwing so much shade the undergrowth dies,
and you can walk easily through the space.
Jail-bars of light that somehow make it down
do little against the shadowy cool,
fleet squirrels will scamper, disrupting the calm,
as they’re chittering away like young fools.
Trunks rising around me like buttresses,
smooth boulders scattered about are the pews,
the altar is the crest of the low ridge,
for a service know to a blessed few.
Birds high above are impromptu choirs,
communion wine is the babbling brook,
mosses are vestments, worn close to the earth,
pine needles are incense when by the wind shook.
I may like those churches of wood and stone,
but for all of their grace and beauty,
somehow they cannot hold their own against
a seemingly random mish-mash of trees.
How nature so red in tooth and in claw
can create something stately and sublime
out of the chaos that Darwin’s law brings,
has always baffled my poor, human mind.
But feeling so small against aged giants
makes me think these is much more yet unseen,
I do not think it can be an accident
that there exists such a place so serene.
Much as I’d like to show you all the path,
I fear doing so would only end wrong,
great trees last longer when they are unknown,
and I mean for this grand place to live on.
Copyright © David Welch | Year Posted 2019
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